Tag Archives: Allergy

Herbal Medicine Kit – Cuts & Scrapes Pt. 3

“Earaches and bellyaches, colic we tend
Hoping our kindness and herbs they will mend”

Welcome back…

…to another posting of the Herbal Medicine Kit. Today we are looking at deeper wounds requiring a Poultice and Wound-healing Tea. We will look more in-depth at Plantain, Astragulus and Baptisia

Let’s get to it…

Deeper Wounds & Infections

Deep Gashing Wound

Infected cuts and scrapes sometimes call for internal as well as external action, especially if an infection is more than skin deep. Indicators are wounds that take longer to heal than seems reasonable and infections that seem to spread, traveling through the bloodstream and reappearing in new areas. When an infection travels from the location of the original wound and takes hold elsewhere, there is usually an accompanying fever. If this happens to you or your loved one, this means you have a spreading systemic infection and you MUST see a doctor immediately!

Skin-Healing Poultice

Click HERE to print

Wound-Healing Tea

Click HERE to print

Plantain

Plantain

A perennial “weed” that can be found almost anywhere in North America and much of Europe. You probably have some in your backyard! Plantain is thought to be indigenous to Eurasia. It will grow in sun to shade, and in almost any soil – plantain is very adaptable. Plantain spreads by seeds.

There are over 200 species in the plantain family, and they are found worldwide. Many have herbal uses. Plantago major is the most common one in North America, but Plantago lanceolata can also be found. Both have the same medicinal uses, and are very similar in appearance. Plantago major has wide rounded leaves, with a flowering spike covered with small nubbly seeds; Plantago lanceolata has longer, slender leaves, and a mostly bare flowering stem, with a conelike cluster of flowers on the top.

(Please note that plantain – the starchy, banana-like fruit, is completely different and not related to the plantain “weed” we are talking about!)

Plantain is edible – harvest the young, tender leaves for use in a salad, or steamed and used as a spinach substitute. The leaves do get tough quickly, so make sure to harvest only the youngest leaves. The immature flower stalks may be eaten raw or cooked. If you’re really adventuresome, you can harvest the seeds. They are said to have a nutty flavor and may be parched and added to a variety of foods or ground into flour. The leaves, seeds and roots can all be made into an herbal tea.

Plantain was brought to the US and also to New Zealand by European settlers who valued it, for it’s culinary and medicinal properties. The settlers seemed to leave the plant wherever they went, thus earning it the name “White Man’s Foot’ or “Englishman’s Foot” by the natives of both countries.

Plantain has been used medicinally by Europeans for centuries. Herbals dating from the 1500′s and 1600′s are full of recipes and uses for plantain. It was considered to be almost a panacea – a cure-all, and a quick search shows that is has historically been recommended as a treatment for just about everything, up to and including dog bites, ulcers, ringworm, jaundice, epilepsy, liver obstructions, and hemorrhoids! Plantain was so commonly known it is even found referenced in works by both Chaucer and Shakespeare.

Plantain is usually plentiful and can be easily harvested anytime from early spring until frost. Please do be careful where you harvest it – roadsides are notoriously dirty and dusty, and ditches are often sprayed with herbicides. Leave a spot in your backyard where you allow it to grow, and you can harvest your own all growing season! If your neighbors think you are crazy, let them know that plantain is a food source for some friendly wildlife such as butterfly caterpillars, and that the seeds are a food source for many varieties of birds.

Plantain is very high in beta carotene (A) and calcium. It also provides ascorbic acid (C), and vitamin K. Among the more notable chemicals found in plantain are allantion, apigenin, aucubin, baicalein, linoleic acid, oleanolic acid, sorbitol, and tannin. Together these constituents are thought to give plantain mild anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antihemorrhagic, and expectorant actions. Acubin has been reported in the Journal Of Toxicology as a powerful anti-toxin. Allantoin has been proved to promote wound healing, speed up cell regeneration, and have skin-softening effects.

Modern medical research is proving to uphold many of the historical uses of plantain – especially as a wound healer, and as a treament for lung conditions such as bronchitis or asthma. Medicinally, plantain is astringent, demulcent, emollient, cooling, vulnerary, expectorant, antimicrobial, antiviral, antitoxin, and diuretic. Plantain is approved by the German Commission E (a sort of German “FDA” that studies and regulates herbs and herbal uses) for internal use to ease coughs and mucous membrane irritation associated with upper respiratory tract infections as well as topical use for skin inflammations. Two Bulgarian clinical trials have suggested that plantain may be effective in the treatment of chronic bronchitis.

How much is usually taken? The German Commission E officially recommends using 1/4-1/2 teaspoon (1-3 grams) of the leaf daily in the form of tea made by steeping the herb in 1 cup (250 ml) of hot water for 10-15 minutes (making three cups (750 ml ) per day). The fresh leaves can be applied directly three or four times per day to minor injuries, dermatitis, and insect stings. Syrups or tinctures, approximately 1/2 teaspoon (2-3 ml) three times per day, can also be used, particularly to treat a cough. Finally, 1/2-1 1/4 teaspoons (2-6 grams) of the fresh plant can be juiced and taken in three evenly divided oral administrations throughout the day. Of course as with all herbal medicines, you are your own best doctor – listen to your body and pay attention to it’s interaction with the herb, and you will undoubtedly figure out your own best uses and dosages.

Plantain is not associated with any common side effects and is thought to be safe for children Plantain is classed as “able to be safely consumed when used appropriately” by the American Herbal Retailers Association. Some preliminary research does show, however, that some allergy sufferers may have a reaction to plantain pollen, so if you feel this may be a problem for you, you may want to only use the plantain leaves for your herbal preparations.

One of plantain’s most common uses is as a poultice for stings, bites, scrapes and rashes. The simplest way to harness plantain’s healing powers is to crush a few fresh leaves, and apply to the affected area. Replace fresh leaves as necessary. The fresh plantain “juice” takes the pain away and seems to work wonders at staunching blood flow and closing wound edges. It’s also wonderfully refreshing and soothing to sunburn.

Plantain infusion (tea) can also be used as a soothing wash for sunburn, windburn, rashes, or wounds. To make a plantain infusion, simply add a small handful of fresh plantain leaves to a cup or two of water, and bring to a gentle boil. Turn off heat, and let steep, then strain out the leaves. The infusion is best when fresh, although it can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days.

*Courtesy of Prairieland Herbs

Astragulas

Astragalus

Astragalus root is commonly used as an herbal remedy in China, Mongolia and other Asian countries. The roots of the astragalus plant are dried and aged for at least three years before they are used to prepare extracts, powdered capsules and medicinal teas. Historically, astragalus was used to promote longevity and speed recovery from illnesses, although it’s now viewed as an immune system booster, antioxidant and mild antimicrobial.

The common name “yellow leader” refers to the yellow interior of the root, and the fact that this is one of the superior tonic roots in traditional Chinese medicine. A typical member of the pea family, astragalus has finely divided leaves, small pealike flowers and seed pods, and a sprawling, vinelike stature. Astragalus membranaceous, the species used medicinally, grows up to 6 feet tall and has an appearance similar to licorice, another member of the large Astragalus genus. Some herbalists believe that the North American milk vetch, A. americus has many of the same properties and may even be a wild, medicinal Astragalus.

Immune Boosting
Astragalus root may boost the immune system in multiple ways, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. The evidence suggests that astragalus extract contains compounds, such as polysaccharides, which stimulate specialized immunity cells called natural killer cells, monocytes and lymphocytes. This root may trigger the release of strong antiviral and anticancer substances named interleukin-2 and interferon, although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stresses that more research is needed before any medical claims can be made. Other compounds in astragalus root called saponins display mild antiseptic properties especially against pathogenic bacteria, helping to prevent the immune system from being overworked.

Antioxidant
Antioxidants are beneficial to health because they eliminate or neutralize free radicals, which are end products of oxidation that harm a variety of tissues, especially the insides of arteries. The saponins, flavonoids and triterpenes in astragalus root extract are strong antioxidants and may help to slow the deterioration of tissues, which is the primary cause of aging and a significant cause of many degenerative diseases such as arthritis, kidney failure and congestive heart failure.

Adaptogen
Astragalus root is also classified as an adaptogen, which means it helps the body resist the harmful effect of stress and fatigue by stimulating the production and secretion of cortisol from the adrenal glands and by balancing other endocrine hormones. It may help to keep you from feeling rundown, although you shouldn’t rely on it solely for this purpose. Adaptogens, which also include ginseng root and licorice root, may also enhance libido and give you an extra boost while working out.

Anti-Aging
Anti-aging potential has been the claim to fame of astragalus for centuries, and there now seems to be some biochemical understanding of how it may contribute to well-being and longevity. Compounds in the roots called astragalosides and cycloastragenols activate telomerase enzymes, which help to prevent the protective ends of chromosomes, called telomeres, from degrading. The degradation of telomeres negatively affects cell division and contributes to tissue aging. Astragalus protects the telomeres from degradation and may also stimulate telomere renewal. Although intriguing, much more human research is needed before astragalus can be touted as a fountain of youth.

Dosage
Some adaptogens are recommended only for short-term use, but astragalus is commonly recommended for many months at a time by practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine. Typical dosages of astragalus root extract range from 200 up to 500 milligrams three times a day, but consult with a health professional familiar with herbal remedies before starting supplementation. The dried root in the form of tea, encapsulated or as an extract. Powder is mildly sweet and may be sprinkled on food or whipped into a shake or smoothie. Most authorities on traditional Chinese medicine recommend taking 9-15 grams (3 to 5 tablespoons) of the whole herb per day as a decoction, made by boiling the ground, dried root in water for a few minutes and then brewing the tea. May also be taken in capsule or extract form.

*Some content courtesy of The Nest & Annie’s

Baptisia

Baptisia Tinctoria

Baptisia tinctoria, also known as horsefly weed, is a plant with light-colored flowers and seed pods. It generally grows in warm regions of North America. The plant’s name is a combination of each of the Latin and Greek words for “dye.” The extract from the flowers and seed pods of baptisia tinctoria were historically used as a garment dye because they would change to a dark blue color when exposed to air. The extract’s most common modern use is as an herbal medicine.

The flowers and seed pods of the plant can both be used for medicinal purposes. For use as a tea, the flowers can be dried out and boiled with water. The seed pods can also be steamed to release their natural oils, then combined with alcohol for a mixture known as a tincture. Tinctures can be diluted in water and drunk. The oil from the seed pods can also be added into capsules or mixed with creams for topical application.

One of the possible uses for baptisia tinctoria is as a laxative, a substance that helps the body produce bowel movements. A person may need to use the medicine as a laxative to help treat constipation, a condition in which solid waste becomes backed up in the digestive system and makes regular bowel movements difficult or painful. Taking the herbal capsules orally may help loosen any backed up waste in the intestines so a person can have regular bowel movements. The herb can also work as an emetic, meaning it promotes vomiting. This use can help treat nausea or rid the body of toxins.
Tea made from baptisia tinctoria may be promoted by herbalists as a treatment for respiratory infections. It may be consumed to help soothe sore throats or chest colds. The tea may also be used as treatment for respiratory inflammation pain due to tonsillitis or laryngitis.

Baptisia tinctoria oil may also be implemented as a possible herbal treatment for various aches. It can be mixed with warm water, then used to soak a cloth known as a poultice. The poultice can be pressed against the outside of the jaw for toothaches or applied to other painful areas of the body, such as sprained ankles. The oil mixture can also simply be used as an antiseptic wash for cleaning cuts and scrapes, as herbalists believe it has antibacterial properties.

Some people may experience side effects if they are allergic to the herb. Signs of an allergic reaction generally include itching, vomiting, or diarrhea after applying or consuming. Pregnant or breastfeeding women are typically not advised to use the herb because it is not known how it affects infants or children.

Recap: Today we looked at several herbs; Plantain, Astratulus and learned a little on the controversial herb Baptisia or Wild Indigo. Since this herb is so controversial I highly suggest before using consult your naturopath, doctor or herbalist. We also made a Skin healing Poultice (with Printable) and a Wound Healing Tea!

Looking ahead: Next week we will take a look at Fainting & Dizziness. We will be talking about the lovely herb Lavender and making Lavender smelling salts and a Lavender Compress.

Reminder: Get your Lavender!!

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Until next post…
Blessings to you and yours,

http://smplyliving.wordpress.com
www.facebook.com/smplylvng
www.twitter.com/@katyorba
smplylvng@gmail.com

I am also a Contributing Author at:

http://modernhomesteaders.net

Disclaimer
Nothing in this post is to be construed as medical advice, simply a sharing of things that have worked for me & my family. If you have any symptoms of serious illness, taking medication, pregnant or nursing, or have never worked with herbal materials before, please consider consulting a medical professional before use. I am unable to offer advise for your particular medical situation; please ask your doctor, nurse practitioner or naturopath for further guidance.
The statements made here have not been approved by the Food & Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act.

 This article can be viewed here:  www.modernhomesteaders.net

 

Herbal Medicine Kit – Bites, Stings & Splinters Part 2

“The air was fragrant with a thousand trodden aromatic herbs, with fields of lavender, and with the brightest roses blushing in tufts all over the meadows…”
~William Cullen Bryant

Welcome back…

…to another posting of the Herbal Medicine Kit. Today we continue our 3 part look at Bites, Stings and Splinters with Part 2. In the process we will look at many different herbs, essential oils and clays as well as make various herbal preparations.

Got all your supplies? Let’s talk a little about Bites & Stings, take a look at 2 more recipes and at the end of our time together walk through How to use and apply a Poultice.

Bites, Stings & Splinters….continued!

Busy Bee!

Mr. Spider

We have already looked at the milder forms of Bites or Stings…our very industrious Ants and annoying Mosquitoes…now we take it up a notch with Bees; whom we love for what they do for us and provide for us (honey), and Spiders…well…we will just say some are beneficial and some are very beautiful and leave..it..at..that!

For the more severe stings and bites of Bees, Wasps, Spiders and also ticks we are going to be making a Poultice of Lavender, Echinacea and Bentonite Clay. You could also add a little Tea Tree to the mix as well.

Here are the ingredients in the Poultice and what affect each has:

  • Bentonite Clay: Pulls the poisonous material from the bit or sting to the skins surface and keeps it from spreading.
  • Echinacea: Dramatically reduces any allergic response that might occur.
  • Lavender: Stops the itching and reduces the swelling.
  • Tea Tree: If you include this essential oil it will aid in the antibacterial properties of yourpoultice.

And here is your recipe-Click HERE to print!

Bite and Sting Poultice

Tips

*Remember that applying a poultice is only the first step in treating bites and stings that might cause anallergic reaction. Give anyone who I susceptible to these reactions half a teaspoon of Echinacea Tincture every ten minutes.

*Often times an allergic response will begin then retreat as the herbs take effect.

*REMEMBER that allergic reactions can have serious consequences. If you know that someone is highly allergic to a bite or sting, do NOT depend solely on herbal first-aid. Immediate medical attention is required.

*Wheezing, swelling, and hives are all indicators of serious and possibly even fatal consequences of an allergic reaction that require IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION!

And here is another recipeClick HERE to print!

Echinacea Tincture Recipe

You will need this to make your Bite & Sting Poultice

Recap: Today we learned a bit more about Bites and Stings, a recipe for Bite & Sting Poultice, the How To’s of making and using a Poultice, and a recipe for Echinacea Tincture.

Looking ahead: Next post we will be the last in our series about Bites and stings, we will be making a recipe for Ant Bite/Nettle Remedy, Insect Repellent and learning about the Yellowdock plant and a variety of Essential Oils including Citronella, Eucalyptus, Pennyroyal, Cedar and Rose Geranium.

Reminder: Have on hand these Essential Oils and the Yellowdock, containers for all your remedies, Vodka or Everclear and Baking soda.

I am participating in …

Homestead Barn Hop!

Until next post…

Blessings to you and yours,

http://smplyliving.wordpress.com

www.facebook.com/smplylvng

http://modernhomesteaders.com

http://www.twitter.com/@katyorba

smplylvng@gmail.com

 BY KAT YORBA

Raw Honey is Medicine!

I love honey, always have and always will. My love of honey has grown deeper as I discover all the wonderful properties it possesses. As my research into alternative natural remedies has progressed I find RAW, unprocessed honey (the ONLY honey you should buy) mentioned in nearly every source I find, so I thought I would share some of that information with you. I have said many times before that, IF a collapse situation occurs, eventually all of us will run out of pharmaceutical medications. No question about it, they will either get used up or become expired (after a long time) and useless. So you need to learn how to live without antibiotics produced in a lab.

Honey has been used for thousands of years for it’s healing properties. It was commonly used until WW II, when lab antibiotics came into fashion. The use of honey is called apitherapy, which includes replenishing energy, enhancing physical stamina, and improving immune systems. Honey is produced in the bee’s gut and is then regurgitated into wax cells within the hive. This gut production is part of the reason for honey’s healing and antimicrobial properties. It forms a hydrogen peroxide effect in wounds and destroys bacteria, including MRSA and strep infections.

Within wounds, honey not only destroys bacterial infections, it creates a moist healing environment that allows skin cells to regrow naturally. This helps prevent raised scarring. Honey both prevents and kills bacterial infections. It has an acidic pH that is inhospitable for bacteria. It also has an osmotic effect which kills by drawing out fluid from the bacteria. Several studies have shown honey heals wounds better and faster, with a dramatic decrease in infection rates, especially in burn injuries. Apply to cuts, scrapes, burns of any depth if medical help is NOT available, rashes, or any open skin injury, after good wound cleaning.

In the event of a severe second degree burn or any third degree burn, immediate medical help should be sought. In the event this help is not available, using RAW honey would be the best choice for healing and prevention of infection. Do not rinse off the honey, just add more at least once daily and cover with plastic wrap or a clean linen or cotton wrap to hold the honey in place. Severe burn patients are at a serious risk for many problems and need to be monitored by the best medical personnel possible.

Honey is known to have a calming effect on the mind and promotes sleep. It may have a positive effect on heart disease by reducing C-reactive protein levels. Honey may reduce blood sugar levels and help stabilize wild swings of high and low levels. It has also been shown to have antiviral properties and is used frequently to help combat colds and influenza. Honey is helpful in the treatment and prevention of oral infections and disease. It soothes a sore throat and speeds healing of a strep throat infection.

Make sure you store honey as part of your preparedness plan. It never spoils or goes bad. If it crystallizes, just heat it up just a little and it will be as good as new!

One more important piece of advice: Manuka honey is NO different then regular honey. They claim it is made from “tea tree” pollen, however, the “tea tree” they site is a relative, and  is NOT the true tea tree called melaleuca (just check your tea tree oil label). This is a fraud perpetrated to make money from unsuspecting customers.

Buy your local honey, save money AND reduce allergies. Local honey is made by bees from pollen that you might be allergic to. However, the minute doses of this allergen in the honey is like an ALLERGY SHOT and will help desensitize you to that pollen. That’s right, it helps decrease or eliminate allergies caused by your local environment. So eat the honey produced in your area and you will be healthier and save money!

Thanks,

Nurse Amy

Original article may be found here: http://www.doomandbloom.net/2013/03/raw-honey-is-medicine.html

This was a guest post by Joe Alton, M.D., and Amy Alton, A.R.N.P., aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy of www.doomandbloom.net at www.modernhomesteaders.net on April 12, 2013.